Fort Hood soldier shares story of sexual assault and her fight for justice
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month in the U.S. military and military communities across the world, including Fort Hood in Central Texas, are raising awareness through various events, workshops, or courses on preventing sexual assault in their ranks.
With more jobs in the U.S. Army being open to both men and women, some may find the change something to get used to.
SGT. Kalie Dame with Bravo Battery, 1-82, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (1ABCT) 1st Cavalry Division recently shared her experiences working in a male-dominated career field.
Dame, a cannon crewmember with the 1st Cavalry Division, said working in a predominantly male job is something different.
“It’s an experience. It’s different working with males that are used to only working with males for the past several years,” said Dame.
Shortly after joining the Army and being stationed on Fort Hood, SGT Dame, who then was a private, was sent to Korea with her unit on assignment, where something unexpected happened.
“I reported a sexual assault case in December of 2019,” she said. “When it happened to me I was a private and my NCO failed me.”
At first, she was afraid to reach out for help for fear of what might happen to her.
“I was afraid of any kickback or anything from the unit or from anyone that I worked with.”
In the end, she told another leader in her unit, and they gave her the best advice.
“I told one of my NCOs, one of my first lines, that a sexual assault case had occurred, with me and he encouraged me to go to our victim advocate,” said Dame.
Since that day in late 2019, she has used her experience as a way to help other soldiers feel comfortable in coming forward.
“Now I want to be that NCO, to help soldiers and show them you don’t have to be scared to come forward,” Dame said
After what seemed like a lengthy court-martial, justice was finally given.
“After about two years and two months, I received justice. He was convicted of four counts, I believe,” she said.
SFC Reuben Guevara, a sexual assault response coordinator for the 1st Cavalry Division, said changes have been made to identify and handle sexual assault and harassment issues.
“We give them this training and we give them that tactful approach. We give them opportunities to intervene and save somebody’s career, save somebody’s life, prevent a crime from taking place,” said SFC. Ruben Guevara, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator 1st Cavalry Division.
By sharing her fears, dame hopes it will help other service members conquer theirs.
“If you don’t say something, you could lead it to happen to someone else,” said Dame.
Leaders on fort hood say educating soldiers on sexual assault awareness and prevention is key to winning that battle.
Copyright 2022 KWTX. All rights reserved.